Weekly readings January/February 2016

Ninth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Friday 1 January
Mary the Mother of God
Numbers 6.22-27
Psalm 66.2-3, 5,6,8
Luke 2.16-21

How do you start a new year? The Church suggests that we start, not with a hangover but a blessing, a model blessing to be given by the priests to the children of Israel. What the blessing does is to remind the people that God is in charge, and that what constitutes them as a community is what God has done for them, namely shone the divine countenance upon them and given them peace. The psalm likewise speaks of ‘God’s face’; naturally God does not have a face, but we know well what it means to ask for God’s face to ‘shine upon us’. The second reading also knows what it means: ‘When the fullness of time came, God sent God’s son, born of a woman, born under the Law’;

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